After a ridiculous dry spell, I finally wrote a wee 200 word flash fiction for Rebecca Postupak’s Flash Friday.
Enu never liked going there, but Elaida was fascinated with the chairyard. She’d wander through the field for hours, trailing her hand over their weathered backs. Choosing one, she’d perch on the creaky seat, blue eyes slightly unfocused.
Enu sat in the chair nearest her. After about ten minutes, he said, “What’re you thinking?”
She turned blind-eyed and then smiled. The moment was gone.
“What it was like before Quietus, before the Keepers said we had to Sleep.”
Chiled, Enu stood, his feet smudging into the soft ground. “What good does that do?” His voice was sharper than he wanted.
In the distance, dead wires hung from their poles. Enu usually thought of them as benevolent overseers, gently sagging. Today, in the lowering fog, they were endless chains, hemming them in.
Enu squeezed her hand with fierce anxiety, “You mustn’t say that.”
The fog closed around them, listening.
Colorless hair clung to her face in the damp. “There was a chair for every one of us. We didn’t sleep a year for every month.”
“It won’t always be like this, Elaida.”
“You’re right – one day we won’t wake at all.”
Far away, the bell tolled, summoning them to Sleep.